The European Union should take an example from Turkey for its support toward Ukraine, Latvian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said on Thursday.
“European Union should take example from Turkey as far as its assistance to Ukraine to fight invaders, and provide support to Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to construct modern border due to hybrid attacks. At this moment Poland and Baltic States are doing EU job and paying for it,” he wrote on Twitter.
Pabriks’ words came after Ukraine recently employed Turkish-made unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), namely Bayraktar TB2 to destroy a howitzer used by pro-Russian separatists in Donbass.
The introduction of the drone is a potential game-changer in the years-long conflict, after Turkish drones were used by Azerbaijan last year to overpower Armenia's army in Nagorno-Karabakh – another frozen post-Soviet conflict.
The Kremlin said Wednesday that its fears about Turkey's decision to sell strike drones to Ukraine were being realized and that the Turkish drones risked destabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov echoed the Kremlin’s concerns, saying Russia was investigating reports that Ukraine used the Turkish drone.
"This should give pause to those who give airtime to Ukraine's stubborn demands it should be admitted to NATO right away," he said.
Russian forces annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in February 2014, with President Vladimir Putin formally dividing the region into two separate federal subjects of the Russian Federation the following month.
Turkey, a NATO member, has criticized Moscow's annexation of Crimea and voiced support for Ukraine's territorial integrity. The United States and United Nations General Assembly view the annexation as illegal as well.
Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in Donbass has seen more than 13,000 people killed since 2014, according to the U.N.
The region is one of several sources of friction between Russia and Ukraine.